Crystal Lewis - Part 2

Speaking of ministry, Crystal has also been a constant part of the Harvest Crusades, where once again, she can watch on in wonder as God works firsthand in folk's lives. These are not merely masses of people, since Crystal has had the unlikely experience of seeing some of her closest friends in attendance.

"The very first year I was involved in the crusades, my best friend from high school came forward," she reflects. "To see that happen, to see her come forward, was huge--just an eye-opener for me."

In addition to keeping busy with these concert and crusade appearances, Crystal also spends much of her time in the studio. Crystal says that her touring partners, {{Avalon}}, have jokingly nicknamed her the "Cameo Queen" because she's always making little cameos on other peoples' albums.

So in keeping with her newly found special guest reputation, ska fans can look for Crystal's name on the credits of the new {{Supertones}} album. But hearing Crystal's voice on "There's No Life Away From You" shouldn't come as any surprise to those who know the singer well, since ska is not at all a foreign style to this pop singer. "Strangely enough, I was ska in high school for a whole year," she remembers. "Some think ska never dwindled away, but in the eyes of the public, it kind of went away. But I love it. I think it's great."

The "Cameo Queen" is also venturing out of her comfort zone when it comes to writing songs these days. In fact, on the album ==Gold== she even co-wrote one song ("Why") with {{Michael W. Smith}}. "That was just something where I had these lyrics, and was just kind of trying to find a melody for them." At this point, producer Dan Posthuma stepped in and suggested that he show these words to Smith. "Michael came up with something within a couple of weeks--in the midst of his busy schedule."

Crystal looks back on this opportunity to work with Smith as a privilege. "We're very grateful that he even chose to take the time to work on it. But he said he really liked the lyrics, and that they spoke to him, so he just felt moved to put music to them."

This writing project with Smith was very different from Crystal's normal songwriting mode, which usually only involves her husband Brian Ray. "With Brian, it's a constant back and forth," comments Crystal. "It's very 'hands on' because we work together and live together. It's just more personal, working with your husband, I think. You're just more at ease to say 'Nah, I don't really like that.'"

Crystal is more at ease in many ways these days. She has survived the frustration of losing her voice; She's carried on like a trouper with concert performances-on both the good and bad nights. She's even ingested the strong medicine of humility. These experiences have only served to instill more character in Crystal, showing her to be an artist that is so much more than just "a voice." She's not simply spending time on her art in order to accumulate more awards for the living room mantle-yet they're sure to come.

{{Crystal Lewis}}, as with all believers since Job and beyond, is working through life's tests in hopes of coming forth as gold.

And the glow, which seemingly always surrounds her, serves to reveal that she's a shining success.

from December 1998